Anecdotally, a customer gripe heard often enough gripe is the charge for “services” encountered in higher end hotels. Quite like over-compensated corporate CEOs, some of the hostelries rake in the big bucks and offer very little. The charges range from the ubiquitous resort fees, internet fee (can be upto $15 per day!; and that is only for the room – there is another charge if you use the internet in a meeting room), “health club” access charge, roll-away bed charges, parking fees, room service add-ons, bell-hop fees, housekeeping charge and to add insult to injury even “early check-out” charges in some hotels.
In contrast, almost all ostensibly “limited” services hotels offer a range of freebies including free breakfast (many include “hot” items like waffles and a range of fruits and cereals), 24 hour free coffee (even cappuccino) and tea, newspapers and some even offer free afternoon wine. Of course, the so-called “limited” or select service hotels do not offer 24 hour room service, black-liveried staff stuffed with hi-tech electronics and egos, spas or turndown service. Nevertheless, the gap in creature comforts reminiscent of home is closing with many fewer starred hotels offering flat screen TVs, digital concierges, Tempur-Pedic mattresses and even duvet spreads. However, the gap in rates between upscale and mid-market remains a chasm as customers continue to perceive value, rightly in many instances, in the intangibles that go with higher end products.